WINDHOEK- New legislation is needed to enable the widespread establishment of communal grazing areas, local management’s institutions and grazing management plans to incentivize sustainable rangeland management.
This is recommended by t he Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) through the study of marketing systems for livestock and livestock products in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) of Namibia’s report released in May this year.
It further recommended that communal grazing areas should be registered to be self-governing, democratic entities, run by their members, with fixed boundaries that are agreed with neighbours, and which develop and enforce grazing plans appropriate to local needs and excluding non-members.
“Given the medium to long term challenges involved in achieving the above, a new rangeland and livestock focused governmental institution should be established, possibly as a division of the DAPEES,” reads the research paper.
A capital project supporting communal rangeland and livestock production, as the dryland crop production programme should be developed.
It has further recommended that the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry should establish a Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) Livestock Marketing Intelligence Unit (LMIU), to provide livestock marketing research, information and advisory services and to coordinate all agencies active in the field.
“This unit should develop a market information system which monitors and disseminates price information at the NCA markets, and develops local price guidelines according to the principle of subtracting reasonable transaction costs and trader profit margins from livestock market prices,” stated the report.
It has applauded that an investigation into viable community-based livestock support services delivery models for different areas should be undertaken.
It has further suggested pilot projects should register Agriculture Diploma holders not employed, or retired AHTs or AETs as Veterinary Para-professionals supervised by the local State Veterinarian.
They could set up local animal health and production advisory services, including retailing drugs and remedies, execution of sanitary mandates for delineated areas to tag and register animals, maintaining registers, issuing movement permits, conducting surveillance and handling official vaccinations, and providing other agricultural support services.
The option of services being provided by Community Animal Health Agents (CAHA) who are not qualified in terms of the Veterinary and Veterinary Para- Professions Act 1 of 2013, which would require that the Act be amended, should also be considered.